Giving assistance to shop owners would help to keep shop workers in employment.
By Lucy Ashton
Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has called for additional funding to be made available to businesses that rely on Hogmanay as a key source of revenue but have been forced to close due to pandemic restrictions and the tier system.
This call comes as First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, urged people to remain at home during the festive season, avoiding street parties and the traditional first-footing, with blanket Tier 4 restrictions across mainland Scotland from Boxing Day.
Jackie Baillie has repeatedly called for more support to be given to businesses who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 restrictions and the ongoing economic crisis caused by the pandemic. She has urged the government to provide specific support for businesses in the hospitality and tourism sectors – two sectors that the local community relies heavily on.
Jackie Baillie MSP said: “Pubs shops, restaurants and bars have all been impacted by the pandemic. However, not all tourism businesses can simply go online and not everyone can access the internet. Many other smaller businesses depend on physical footfall and passing traffic to keep their businesses afloat, such as stalls, rides and visitor attractions.
“They depend on in-person interaction and are the backbone of our high streets and communities. We cannot risk them falling through the funding cracks.
“Funding has been made available for some tourism businesses, along with the £14m fund for hotels. However, this fund has been overwhelmed with applications and shows that there has been a miscalculation over the level of support needed across Scotland.
“Without a clear COVID exit strategy in place, the Sottish government must do more to target relief at smaller, tourist-dependent businesses and provide assurances that support will be made available to them.”